Thiruvananthapuram: Unwilling to be caught in the tug of war between the Indian Olympic Association and Boxing India, rising Indian pugilist Sumit Sangwan on Saturday asserted that his pullout from the National Games here was caused by fitness issues and not the threat of a ban from BI.
"I have withdrawn because I am not keeping well and the doctor has advised me rest for a few days. I have the medical documents to prove it," Sangwan, a 2012 Asian Olympic Qualifiers gold-medallist, told PTI.
The Games' boxing competition, which starts on February 6, has been hit by a talent crisis after some established names such as Asian and Commonwealth medallist Manoj Kumar and Asian champion Shiva Thapa opted out after a threat of ban from BI.
BI is currently locked in a pitched battle with the IOA, which has refused to grant it recognition despite the body having the International Boxing Association (AIBA) approval.
Citing this refusal, BI has decided to boycott the Games, telling state units to not send any participants, threatening a ban against those who choose to compete.
"Whatever be the current situation, I have withdrawn purely on health grounds," the 22-year-old Sangwan said.
If the current logjam is not resolved, the boxing competition in Thrissur would turn out to be a lackluster affair.